Friday, August 01, 2008

Another Shot

Before leaving the doctor's office, when we went for Rachel's 1 year check up, I asked for a photocopy of her vaccinations record. I will admit that I was very confused. On the record that I had, the nurse had written in the combined shots without writing the diseases Rachel was immunized against.

So my records showed that Rachel hadn't had any of her polio or Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis shots. The nurse had also taken our immunization card from us, but hadn't written down which shots Rachel got last time. She had also written down some shots by the wrong age, for example she wrote down her 1 year MMR shot in the square for the 4 year MMR shot. Things were very out of order and very confusing.

Perhaps I'm just a worry wart, but I wanted to be sure that I fully understood what she was immunized for before we take off for Egypt. Just so that I know and can tell her doctor for sure. I don't know. Somehow I just figure that might be important.

After going over our bill from the insurance company and noting that she had received her MMR, Hep A and Chickenpox vaccinations, I phoned the doctors office to verify the rest of her record.

It was all very confusing because the doctor had written her birthdate beside the shots she just received instead of the date she came in for her 1 year checkup. I see how he got confused because she was born on 07/20/07 and we came in on 07/21/08, but his confusion caused much confusion for everyone else.

After failing to communicate over the phone, I decided to go in and show them how the information I had and the information they had just didn't match.

I first talked with a medical assistant at the front desk who agreed that the whole situation was rather confusing. She went through the computer records and the paper records and made sure they all cross referenced correctly.

She thought Rachel was missing two shots, so she asked a nurse to talk with me about getting those. The nurse went through Rachel's records again and said it looked like Rachel might have already been given one of those shots.

She wouldn't get a fourth Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b) shot because there's a national shortage right now so they're just giving a series of three shots. That's fine with me.

The last shot she was missing (or not?) was the Pneumococcal shot. The doctor had a date written by the shot but the nurse had not filled out any lot number or dosage on Rachel's chart. The lot number and dosage had been filled out for the other three shots Rachel recieved, I remembered three shots and three bandaids, and I was only billed for three shots so we decided that we should probably give Rachel the fourth, and allegedly missing, shot.

After the nurse assured me that it wouldn't hurt Rachel to be vaccinated twice (just in case), we went into the back to find an open room. Rachel started getting nervous the minute we walked through the door and started to cry when I put her down on the table. I don't think she liked the crinkly paper.

Since our doctor wasn't in today, our nurse wasn't in, either. Instead we had a different nurse and she let me hold Rachel during the shot, which worked out a lot better than laying her down on the table. I was able to keep her arms and legs under control the whole time, unassistted, and when the needle poked her, she was able to hug me, which I think is what she is trying to do when she thrashes around on the table.

I think I'll request to hold her the next time she needs a shot , which isn't for at least 6 months.

So, after our long afternoon, Rachel's records are complete. I can finally cross that one off my list of "things to do before moving to Cairo."


  1. How confusing! I hope they realize they need to do a better job of keeping track of those things. Your memory seems to be better than mine would have been in that situation. At least she was only missing one.

  2. I am so grateful for a social democracy for such things--that nice little booklet they give moms for keeping track of pretty much everything that happens to their baby is a pretty handy thing! No worries about tracking the shots through billing--just get the book stamped--no worries about writing in the wrong date because they are stamping. Yes indeed, Canada is pretty great for things like baby shots.

  3. We have a little booklet thing--it's just that they gave Rachel combination shots so I had no idea what they were for. And the nurse took the book the last time we went in and didn't record anything in it. Oh, by the way...the nurse wrote today's date like this "8-0-08." Whatever that means. It's the zeroth day of August...

    I, also, enjoy socialism. I remember getting shots at school. When we got our Hep B shots we made up a game of tag about it. If you got tagged you had to yell, "I have Hepatitis B!" And then you'd be it, too.

    I think that was because the nurse did a presentation in our class before we got the shots and explained that we'd be getting a "dead" version of Hep B. It may also have been because we were just crazy kids...

  4. So I totally repeated myself...I just like rewrote half my blog post in that comment. How embarrassing. :) Clearly I'm losing my mind.

  5. They messed up one of Karen's shots too when we first moved to NC. It's okay and everything, but those combination shots can be a killer! It's really hard to keep track of after a while.